Crystal Palace's next manager: Eagles interview boss with 49% win rate in 2020/21

Swansea manager and Crystal Palace target Steve Cooper looking unimpressed

Crystal Palace have interviewed Swansea City manager Steve Cooper twice as they step up their search for their next manager, as revealed by Football Insider.

What’s the latest on Palace’s manager search?

Following Roy Hodgson stepping down from his role as the club’s manager at the end of the season, Palace have been linked with a number of potential candidates in recent weeks.

Eddie Howe is the current favourite for the role after talks broke down between him and Celtic last week, while the Eagles have reportedly made enquiries about Sean Dyche, and have held extensive talks with Frank Lampard.

Now, it has emerged that they have interviewed Cooper on two separate occasions, signalling that he is firmly in the running to take over at Selhurst Park this summer.

What was Cooper’s win rate at Swansea this season?

Swansea’s campaign recently ended in play-off heartbreak as the side lost 2-0 in the final against Brentford on Saturday.

However, Cooper can be proud of the job that he has done at the Welsh club this term, having led them to a fourth-placed finish in the league and the fifth round of the FA Cup, where they were knocked out by Premier League champions Manchester City.

Across 53 games in all competitions, Cooper’s men won 26 games, giving him a win rate of 49% in 2020/21.

Has Cooper managed in the Premier League before?

The young manager is yet to test himself in the Premier League.

Having originally worked with Liverpool’s youth teams between 2008 and 2013, Cooper moved into international management in 2014 when he took charge of England Under-16s. He coached at that level for a year, before moving up to manage the Under-17s.

Swansea came calling in 2019, and he has spent the last two seasons at the Championship club. Cooper currently has one year remaining on his deal at the Liberty Stadium.

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When was Roy Hodgson appointed as Crystal Palace manager?

Is appointing Cooper a risk worth taking for Palace?

Having put their trust in the hands of Hodgson over the last four years, it would be somewhat of a gamble for Palace to appoint Cooper this summer given his lack of Premier League experience.

It might be worth the risk, though.

Cooper has already proven his managerial ability in his fledgling career, having guided England Under-17s to a World Cup triumph in 2017. During that tournament, he had the likes of Phil Foden and Emile Smith Rowe at his disposal, highlighting how he is used to coaching exceptionally talented players who are now operating in the top-flight.

He has since gone on to show his class in the Championship, by taking Swansea to the brink of promotion this season. They ultimately came up short, but Cooper’s side did have the third-best defensive record in the second tier this year, illustrating how the Welsh coach is adept at organising his team and making them tough to break down.

Palace could do with bringing in a manager who can focus on defensive solidity, given that they conceded 66 goals in the Premier League in 2020/21. 

With this in mind, Cooper could be the perfect fit to come in and tighten things up at the back, putting the foundations in place to allow Palace to climb up the table next year.

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